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Monday, December 17, 2012

Nirvana and Paul McCartney collaborate; Nirvana fans resist inevitable McCartney-ization of Nirvana

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 5:07 AM

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I got this from Kurt Confessions, a Tumblr in which people who are Kurt Cobain fans--not just Nirvana fans, Kurt fans--write Post Secret stuff about him, specifically, and Courtney Love, and their daughter. There are more like it: "Whenever I'm really upset, I put my hand on my poster of Kurt's chest and if I concentrate hard enough, it's like I can feel his heartbeat"; "The fact that Kurt Cobain didn't try to be attractive makes him that much more appealing."

It's really affecting, actually, and it's proof that Nirvana--like the Beatles, who've generated Beatles diehards every year since 1962--will last as a cultural force. But they won't last as a counter-cultural force, because nothing does. People will always believe themselves to be Nirvana people, arrayed against the masses who don't like 2 Broke Girls, and those new Nirvana kids will be furious about Paul McCartney playing grunge riffs. But "Oh well, whatever, never mind" has already joined "All you need is love" on the list of radical statements that also sell well screenprinted on Beefy-Ts in the Wisconsin Dells.

That's how pop music works: You change the way it sounds forever, and then the thing you were working against--the thing you threatened--transforms itself in your image and disappears. Everyone else--the Monkees, Nickelback, even the next set of innovators--assimilates those changes, and then you're a beloved institution. Nirvana fans old and new do not want to see Nirvana become a beloved institution, and since Kurt Cobain is not around to slow down, to release some failures, they'll never be forced to come to terms with it. But it's already happened: Kurt Cobain is already The Cute One.

You can ask Tumblr.

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